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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Wayne in Allen County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Jail Flats

 
 
Jail Flats Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 30, 2008
1. Jail Flats Marker
Inscription. Because of the often soggy conditions that discouraged use as either residential or commercial property, the area of Headwaters Park became known as the Jail Flats. The first jail in Allen County was a two-story hewn-log structure that was enclosed by a board fence, located on the southwest corner of the courthouse square in downtown Fort Wayne. When it burned in 1849, it was promptly replaced. However, after several prisoners escaped, it was determined that a better jail was needed. In 1852, a jail was built east of Calhoun Street across from the present-day building giving this area the name “Jail Flats.” A larger jail was constructed in 1872. When Benjamin Madden and George Keefer confessed to the murder of John Dunbar in April 1855, both were tried and sentenced to hang. They were brought from the jail, and two ropes were attached to cross beams overhead; both paid their debt to society with their lives. This was also the site of the public hanging of Sam McDonald in 1883, the last such execution in Fort Wayne. The condemned man had murdered his friend, Louis Laurent, and was hanged before a crowd of 250 curious observers. The present jail was built in 1981, continuing the tradition of a county jail in the “Jail Flats.”
 
Erected by City of Fort Wayne and The Charles
Great Meadow in Headwater Park image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 30, 2008
2. Great Meadow in Headwater Park
Several markers along path circling the Great Meadow, looking south with downtown Fort Wayne in background. Jail Flats marker is along path beyond the right edge of photo.
Kuhne Foundation.
 
Location. 41° 5.183′ N, 85° 8.309′ W. Marker is in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in Allen County. Click for map. Marker is one of a series that ring the Great Meadow in Headwaters Park. This marker is just southeast of the Hamilton Women Plaza. Marker is at or near this postal address: 333 S. Clinton Street, Fort Wayne IN 46802, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Emerine Jane Holman Hamilton (here, next to this marker); These are the Hamilton Women of Fort Wayne (a few steps from this marker); League Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Duck Creek: Early Industry and Business Development (within shouting distance of this marker); Earliest Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wabash & Erie Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); The Floods (within shouting distance of this marker); Little Turtle (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Wayne.
 
Categories. GovernmentPeaceSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,616 times since then and 125 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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